US aircraft have today targeted a regular Syrian army convoy and allied militants in the Tanif area, not far from the Iraqi border.
From what has been learned, the convoy was part of the operations that the army is driving along the Damascus-Baghdad highway, and in the action of US-led coalition aircraft, at least two tanks would be destroyed and the whole Of the convoy.
Confirmation of the raids was learned from the coalition’s command, as well as the fact that Russia had been informed of this, a governmental ally: an US chief reported that the media “were approaching too much to a buffer zone on the Jordanian border “Where English and US train the fighters, and the commander of the convoy had been warned.
Syrian sources report that the convoy was made up of 5 tanks
T-62 of Russian manufacture of which 2 were destroyed. A shilka was damaged.
Six Syrian Army soldiers were killed, three wounded.
This important event now demonstrates the division of Syria into areas of influence, and the definition of the next red zones
Syria & allies push back at US-held border post
The Syrian-pro-Iranian-Hizballah force in southern Syria renewed its advance on the Iraqi border on Saturday, May 20, two days after sustaining heavy casualties from a US air strike on its convoys and in spite of US Defense Secretary James’ Mattis warning, “We will defend our troops.”
Syrian military sources reported the capture Saturday of the Suweida region and another 60 square kilometers. This offensive brought the Syrian army and its allies closer to the strategic Al-Tanf crossing at the Syrian border intersection with Iraq and Jordan, which is held by US and other special operations units.
The US-led coalition force is also made up of elite units from Britain, Holland, Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as Jordan and a large contingent of the rebel Free Syria Army trained and armed by American instructors in Jordan.
The latest arrival to boost this force, DEBKAfile’s military sources report, was a unit of Norwegian special forces, which entered Syria from Iraq through the Al-Waleed border crossing in western Anbar. They arrived along with American reinforcements and linked up with the US and British forces deployed at Al Tanf.
However, the Syrian force and its allies, responding to the US air strike, moved fast enough Saturday to threaten the FSA troops fighting there with being trapped by a siege. They have pushed their offensive forward against the US-led force, despite their losses from an American air raid, as a show of defiance that was timed for President Donald Trump’s arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Another US air strike appears to be unavoidable for pushing them back. The danger is also rising of a major clash on the ground between US-led coalition special forces troops and the combined Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah force.
The US bombardment of that force Thursday underlined for Saudi Arabia and the dozens of Arab and Muslim rulers, gathered in Riyadh to meet the US president, his administration’s determination to prevent Iran and its Lebanese surrogate, Hizballah, from gaining control of Syria. American troops were accordingly engaged proactively in securing the border crossings between Syria and Iraq.
However, Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah are evidently not about to shirk a direct confrontation with Washington and the Trump administration, apparently with the support of Moscow.
This clash of arms is likely to expand into an outright US showdown with the US and Syria, Iran and Hizballah in the next 24-48 hours ahead of President Trump’s visit to Israel, the second stop of his four-national trip.
US soldiers training Maghawir al-Thawra fighters inside at-Tanf
Exclusive and close-up, our reporter accompanying the US SOF officers who are they deployed near the borders, inside SDF-held, and who patrolled inside Syria.
The convoy to the Jordanian border
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) 21 maggio 2017
Why US attacked pro-Syrian forces near Iraqi border?
Alwaght– The fast-moving developments on the Iraqi-Syrian border areas have jumped in a highly sensitive stage as the American fighter jets directly attacked a convoy of the pro-Syrian forces on Thursday night while it was heading to the border area in eastern Syria.
The commander of the US-led anti-ISIS international coalition released a statement, saying that the airstrike hit a convoy of the pro-government forces on route to the Al-Tanf border crossing between Syria and Iraq.
Al-Tanf is a major path on the Syrian-Iraqi borders, lying on a highway connecting the Iraqi capital Baghdad to the Syrian capital Damascus. The crossing is now under control of the militants of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) who are both trained and armed by the US and Britain.
In past few days a lot of news reports talked about the massive US, Britain, and Jordan deployment of troops and military vehicles to the Jordanian-Syrian borders in a bid to expand their areas of influence in southeastern to northeastern Syria. Americans claim the border operations aims to prepare forces to fight the ISIS terrorist group. However, the experts rarely decline to maintain that the predominant aim behind amassment of forces is to cut the links of Syria to Iraq and thus establish a buffer zone between the two countries, a step that will cut all of access roads between the two capitals.
Well aware of real US plans in Syria, the Resistance forces in past few days showed that they seek foiling American’s schemes by shifting their focus from western to eastern front lines. They, along with units from the Syrian army, have made considerable advances eastward in past week, with only a couple of kilometers separating them from the al-Tanf border path.
Russian paratroops move to Syrian border triangle
Military tensions on Syria’s borders with Iraq, Jordan and Syria jumped another notch Monday, May 21, on Day 2 of Donald Trump’s foreign trip, with the arrival of the first Russian ground troops in southern Syria for taking up position opposite US and coalition elite units.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that, as the US president was preparing to cap his two hectic days in the Saudi capital with a major speech on Islam, before flying to Jerusalem, a Russian contingent of paratroops and special forces arrived at Suweida. It linked up with the Syrian army, Hizballah and other pro-Iranian allies already poised to take on the US, Jordanian, British and Norwegian elite units for control of the strategic 600km long Syrian-Iraqi border and its key crossings.
Our sources that the paratroops were detached for their new mission from the 31s Russian Brigade stationed in Syria, together with Spetsnaz fighters.
They are the first ground troops Moscow has sent to southern Syria, where hitherto Russian operations were limited to infrequent air strikes..
According to Syrian military sources, the Russian troops are only there to train and direct the Syrian army units fighting in this part of Syria. This claim echoed the American contention that its special forces were in the same region, in support of the rebel Syrian Free Army which they had trained in Jordan.
Nonetheless, positioned virtually nose to nose at this moment are American and Russian troops. Both stand behind opposing forces vying for control of Syria’s border with Iraq and the key crossing of Al-Tanf which is located in the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border triangle.
The United States and Trump administration are resolved to keep this prize from falling into the hands of Iran and its Shiite militias to further its scheme for opening up Tehran’s land routes to Syria and the Mediterranean. Moscow, by its new deployment Sunday, signaled that it was equally set on backing the Syrian-Iranian military bid to thwart Washington’s plan.
Saturday, as DEBKAfile reported, the Syrian-pro-Iranian-Hizballah force in southern Syria renewed its advance on the Iraqi border, two days after sustaining heavy casualties from a US air strike on its convoys. Syrian military sources reported they captured the Suweida region and another 60 square kilometers. This brought them closer to the strategic Al-Tanf crossing at the Syrian border intersection with Iraq and Jordan, which is held by US and other special operations units.
The arrival Sunday of Russian ground troops to this hotly-contested region offers an acid test for Donald Trump’s assurance to the Saudi royals and Gulf Arab rulers of his administration’s resolve to rein in Iran’s military charge through the Middle East, along with Hizballah, and relegate to the past their depredations in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
The success of the US-led military operation to take and hold the Syrian-Iraqi border will give Trump’s policy high kudos. But a battleground defeat at the hands of Russian-Iranian backed Syrian and Hizballah troops would seriously dim the gains of his Middle East trip.